Seattle Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto went on the offensive during Thursday’s pre spring training media luncheon, taking dead aim at Baseball America for ranking the Mariners’ farm system as the worst in baseball. One of the reasons cited by Baseball America for its evaluation was the number of prospects Seattle has traded away.
Just for fun, I decided to go through all of Dipoto’s trades and see how many former Everett AquaSox players were among those dealt away. What I discovered is that you can put together a pretty decent 25-man roster of ex-Sox traded by Dipoto. This doesn’t really mean anything, but it was fun putting this team together.
All of these players, with one exception, were legitimate Sox, meaning they spent significant time in Everett rather than just passing through for a couple of games. Players are listed with the years they played in Everett:
LINEUP (no DH)
1) Drew Jackson, shortstop (2015)
2) Ketel Marte, second base (2012)
3) Chris Taylor, center field (2012)
4) Tyler O’Neill, left field (2014)
5) Patrick Kivlehan, first base (2012)
6) James Jones, right field (2009)
7) Alex Jackson, catcher (2015)
8) Erick Mejia, third base (2015)
Catcher: Jason Goldstein (2016)
Infield: Chris Torres (2017)
Outfield: Brayan Hernandez (2017)
Utility: Nelson Ward (2014)
Notes: This group includes two players who were Northwest League MVPs — Drew Jackson and Kivlehan — and four who have played in the majors — Marte, Taylor, Kivlehan and Jones — with Marte (Arizona Diamondbacks), Taylor (Los Angeles Dodgers) and Kivlehan (Cincinnati Reds) spending all of 2017 with their major-league teams. Taylor is, of course, the Dipoto trade everyone groans about as he’s become an All-Star-caliber player with the Dodgers. Of those who haven’t played in the majors, pretty much everyone is still considered a legitimate prospect except maybe Goldstein and Ward.
There was some moving of players along the defensive spectrum from where they played for the Sox. Marte and Taylor were primarily shortstops with Everett, while Mejia was primarily a second baseman, but each has played significant time at the position he’s listed at in the lineup. Alex Jackson played outfield for Everett, but has been switched back to his high school position of catcher by the Atlanta Braves. Jones is now a pitcher in the Texas Rangers’ organization.
O’Neill is the only fudged member of the 25-man roster (just three games), but the team needed another outfielder. He’s No. 86 on Baseball America’s list of top 100 prospects going into 2018.
Luiz Gohara (2014-16)
Ryan Yarbrough (2014)
Enyel De Los Santos (2015)
Brandon Miller (2016)
Anthony Misiewicz (2015)
Thyago Vieira (2013)
Tyler Olson (2013)
Thomas Burrows (2016)
JP Sears (2017)
Jordan Pries (2011)
Lukas Schiraldi (2014)
Jake Brentz (2015-16)
Robert Dugger (2016)
Notes: This group includes Olson, who’s been an effective major-leaguer with the Cleveland Indians, and Gohara (Atlanta Braves) and Vieira (Chicago White Sox), who both have had cups of coffee in the majors. Gohara is the biggest gem, as although he struggled during most of his time with Everett, he blossomed upon joining the Braves’ organization and is now Baseball America’s No. 23 prospect. A lot of these guys (Yarbrough, Miller, Misiewicz, Burrows, Sears) pitched exceptionally well during their time in Everett. Pretty much everyone on the staff — other than Olson, who has graduated from prospect status — is still a prospect, with the exception maybe of Pries, who didn’t play last year.
Again, none of this really means anything. But going through the process helped confirm just how much Dipoto has turned over Seattle’s minor-league system in his two-plus years in charge.